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Kerstin Uvnäs Moberg, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Speaker Type: GOLD Perinatal 2015
  • Country: Sweden

Kerstin Uvnäs Moberg got her MD and a PhD in Pharmacology at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. She has been employed as a full professor of Physiology at the University of Agriculture in Uppsala, Sweden. She has worked with research linked to the physiology of labor and breastfeeding for more than 30 years. The focus of the research has been on the role of oxytocin and sensory stimulation, in particular stimulation of cutaneous sensory nerves during labor, skin-to-skin contact after birth and breastfeeding. She has worked with animal experiments and also studies involving humans. She has studied the physiological mechanisms involved in birth and breastfeeding and also short and long term physiological and behavioral maternal adaptations induced during birth and breastfeeding.She is also working with the role of oxytocin during human animal interaction and in menopausal women.

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The Impact of Birth Interventions on Maternal & Infant Behaviour and Physiology
Pregnancy, labor, birth and skin-to-skin contact after birth form an entity. Oxytocin is being released during all these phases; by estrogen during pregnancy and by sensory stimulation during birth (the Fergusson reflex) and skin-to-skin contact (activation of cutaneous nerves). Oxytocin in the circulation and the activity in the autonomic nervous system stimulate uterine contractions during labor. Oxytocin is also released from nervous pathways in the brain during birth and during skin-to-skin contact after birth. Mental and physiological adaptations are induced, which facilitate motherhood, by oxytocin released from nerves in the brain. The anti-stress effects induced by oxytocin are particularly strongly activated by skin-to-skin contact. It is obvious that any intervention during birth, that hinders activation of oxytocin release e.g. elective Cesarean Section, or blockade of the Fergusson reflex during vaginal birth by e.g. epidural analgesia, might interfere with the oxytocin related adaptations. Separation of mother and baby after birth, the presence of clothes as well as administration of certain types of anesthetic drugs, such as marcain, which block the activation of cutaneous sensory nerves during skin-to-skin contact, might counteract the physiological and behavioral effects induced during skin-to-skin contact after birth. Examples of such negative consequences will be discussed in the presentation.
Presentations: 20  |  Hours / CE Credits: 20.25  |  Viewing Time: 8 Weeks
Hours / CE Credits: (details)  |  Categories: Birth Interventions